In the last few decades, natural disasters have become more frequent and increasingly destructive. Populations depending on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods are threatened not only by natural hazards but also by human-induced events and other developments beyond their control. Most small-scale fishers and fish workers live in developing countries, and they often face a multitude of problems that increase their vulnerability to hazards, such as pollution, environmental degradation, overexploitation of resources, high levels of accidents at sea and conflicts with industrial fishing operations. Many coastal communities are also particularly vulnerable to hazards resulting from poverty and food insecurity.
These guidelines are aimed at those people who participate in post-disaster needs assessment at the country level. These may include line ministry staff, national and international UN staff, national and international consultants and staff of non-governmental organizations. The guidelines are based on a core document, which articulates the process and reporting requirements of post disaster needs assessments. This core document is then supported by a series of technical annexes that provide specific guidance relating to different aspects of fisheries and aquaculture.